December 02, 2008, 12:02 PM — It's a Microsoft press release, so handle with care, but the company's claiming it did more than admirably on Black Friday, it hit the ball out of the park. Not only did the Xbox 360 outsell Sony's PlayStation 3 by three-to-one, says Microsoft, but the 360 managed its best Black Friday sales ever, including a 25 percent lift over 2007 figures.
"We entered into the Black Friday sales period with cautious optimism, knowing that dollar for dollar, Xbox 360 offers more social entertainment value than any other console on the market," said Don Mattrick, senior vice president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. Mattrick claims the company will continue global momentum off recent record sales combined with a global install base of 25 million and an online community of 14 million Xbox LIVE members.
You had me with 3-to-1, Don Mattrick, then you lost me at "dollar for dollar." Last I checked, "social entertainment value" happens offline too. The Xbox 360 may have the broadest online community, but I'm not sure it's fair to dismiss the Wii's "social entertainment value" as a place families and friends regularly converge live and in person. Just saying.
The brightest feather in Microsoft's cap is probably its claim to an "8.1 games per console" attach rate. If that's really accurate and not somehow spun up, it's probably the most salient indicator of the Xbox 360's health. You can sell all the hardware in the world, but if your attach rates are consistently low, it doesn't say much, competitively speaking, for post-purchase hang-time. Hardware is currently Nintendo's strong spot, but software seems to be Microsoft's.
Stand by for the inevitable competitive ripostes.
(Who's winning the price war? See our latest holiday guide and decide for yourself.)